There's a phenomena of `rubber necking' - slowing down to see a car wreck. X-Men Heroes and Martyrs isn't a car wreck, it's a multi-car pile up. While it's worth slowing down to view this book, it's a painful process at best. Let me explain.
** The Storyline: With Xavier's mansion destroyed in X-Men- The End: Demons and Dreamers most of the children, teachers, and former X-Men are dead. Only a small handful survive into this book. It's hard to see so many favorite characters dead, or to imagine the carnage.
** The Characters- This graphic still manages to have more characters than Youngblood. Yes, X-Continuity is full of rich, diverse, interesting characters, but by trying to give each character their own moment, almost no one has a chance to really shine. With few exceptions, the characters are in and out, without contributing much. The exception is Gambit but I'll talk about him later.
** The Loop Hole- There are lots of loopholes in this graphic. Most of them I can't discuss because it would give away spoilers. However, one I can discuss, is where are the new mutants? This book takes place years in the future, yet, with the exception of a few offspring of original characters there are no new faces. Where are the original characters in the 10 years since we last saw this group? Where?
** The Good- There were a few great moments, most notably a very cool origin for Gambit. Gambit and Rogue's children interacting with Cyclops and White Queen's children was too much fun. These things alone made the book worth checking out.
** The Overall View- X-Men fans might enjoy this, but even they need to get ready for a continuity headache. Also, this book is only part of a series. Demons and Dreamers comes out first, and soon, The Stars My Destination (vol. 3 of X-Men, the End) will begin. Without the framework of the other books, this doesn't do well as a stand alone book.
Recommended to X-Men fans and Gambit admirers. Not recommended to comic book newcomers.
The good thing about the series is the overwhelming tsunami of action that will keep hearts jackhammering in the chests of true X-fans. While "The End" doesn't always bring about a true conclusion in some books in the Marvel series, the X-Men are certainly getting hit where it hurts from beginning to end -- and fans must be prepared to watch their favorites fall in a variety of horrible ways. It's all-out war on mutants, generated largely because of a conflict among alien … more
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Beginning the second of three books chronicling the final story of Marvel's mutant heroes! The Xavier Academy has been reduced to a smoldering crater in a brutal sneak attack, and the casualties number in the hundreds. Now, Cyclops must mobilize the survivors to get to the bottom of who is behind these coordinated strikes on mutants in general and the X-Men in particular. Collects X-Men: The End - Heroes and Martyrs #1-6.